Wladimir Klitschko won his 16th straight fight today, successfully defending the WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles against Tony Thompson, stopping the 40-year-old American in the sixth round of a fight that was never really close.
[ Saturday Results: Brook MD-12 Jones / Rees TKO-9 Mathews ]
Klitschko (58-3, 51 KO) bombed Thompson with a vicious right hand in the fifth round, putting him down late in the frame. That Thompson got up spoke a lot about his desire to try and win, but the fight essentially ended there. He survived the round, but by the end of the sixth frame, appeared mentally beaten and looking for a way out. He went down again in the corner late in the round, and this time referee Sam Williams stopped it at 2:56.
Klitschko had beaten Thompson back in 2008, mostly dominating that fight and knocking "The Tiger" out in the 11th rounds. This time, with Thompson four years older and having had no significant tests in the four years that had passed since their first bout, it wasn't even as competitive as it was the first time. Thompson (36-3, 24 KO) just didn't have a shot in there, looked old, and though his awkward southpaw style gave Klitschko some moments of slight discomfort, it would be a stretch to say that he troubled Wladimir.
At this point with the Klitschkos, as much as I admire their talent, skill, dedication to their craft, and the classy manner in which they carry themselves, I just feel like I've seen enough from them both. We're running rerun bouts now. Is there really anyone out there you can look at and see as an actual threat to them? Is there anyone on the way up who has that skill set?
I just don't see it, and I've grown tired of tuning in for passionless exhibitions of superiority. I don't think they've killed the division, I just think they've dominated it, and with no actual hope for that earth-shaking upset on the horizon, I think I'd personally prefer to just see them both take farewell fights and head on out. There's nothing more to see here.